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Advance Care Planning

How can Advance Care Planning help you?

What would happen if you became sick or had a serious accident and could not talk to your doctor about your treatment – for example, if you were unconscious or had dementia?

  • Who will make decisions for you?
  • Does your family know what you would want?
  • Do the people closest to you all agree?

An Advance Care Plan

There are no standardised forms in Victoria for a general advance care plan. An advance care plan can be a form you complete or a letter you write. Your GP and treating team may also be able to provide some advice about how to write down your wishes

Think about:

  • Who would you trust to make decisions about your medical treatment?
  • What do you value in life?
  • What would be an acceptable recovery from illness for you?
  • What you would want if you were permanently unable to feed yourself, talk or recognise your family and friends?

It is a good idea to undertake Advance Care Planning when your health is stable. This gives you time to talk to your family and friends about your preferences.

Why should you plan ahead?

  • To ensure the treatment and care you receive in the future is in line with your wishes.
  • To ensure your loved ones won’t have to make difficult decisions on your behalf without knowing what you would have wanted.
  • To ensure health care decisions made for you do not happen in a crisis.

Advance care planning can involve all or some of the following steps:

  • Choose a Medical Enduring Power of Attorney.
  • Talk about your values and preferences to the people closest to you.
  • Write down your values and preferences in an Advance Care Plan.
  • Distribute copies of your documents to your GP, your health care provider and your family.
  • Review your plan as circumstances change.

Advance care planning applies across all health care

You can take your advance care planning documents with you to all health care services to ensure your wishes are known and acted on.

This includes public hospitals, community centres, your GP and any other health facilities you may access.

How advance care planning can make a difference

  • It will help you and your family to understand your treatment and care options.
  • It will give you the opportunity to discuss your values, beliefs and treatment preferences with your doctor, health care providers, family and friends.
  • It will help you to document your wishes about future health and personal care, particularly end-of-life care, and help to ensure your wishes are respected.
  • It can provide peace of mind to your family and friends – and to you.

Links to additional information:

Advance Care Planning Australia